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Sir John Eardley Eardley Wilmot

(1783—1847) politician and colonial administrator


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(1783–1847) was appointed lieutenant-governor of Van Diemen's Land in 1843; three of his sons accompanied him and were given public office. Wilmot inherited a colony that was virtually bankrupt. Colonists resented being required to fund a penal system which they claimed was Britain's responsibility. This culminated in a clash between Wilmot and the ‘Patriotic Six’—members of the Legislative Council—who resigned their seats and made the Council inoperable. He clashed often with the Anglican Archbishop Nixon, and was rebuked frequently by Whitehall for failing to report fully. Rumours of personal misconduct provided the opportunity for Gladstone to dismiss him in 1846. He died in Van Diemen's Land, lionised as a victim of Gladstone by a press and public that had previously vilified him.

From The Oxford Companion to Australian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Australasian and Pacific History.


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